Title:
Customized mattress with design panel and personalized label
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention provides a customized mattress with a customer-chosen design surface and personalized label attached thereto; a method of customizing the mattress; and a method of manufacturing the same. The personalized label may be a baby's name and birthdate. The method of customizing the mattress may be by placing an order through the Internet, by phone or by computer located on-site at the manufacturer's facility or retail outlet.



Inventors:
Prince, Darryl (Bellflower, CA, US)
Prince, John (Jacksonville, FL, US)
Application Number:
10/947850
Publication Date:
02/17/2005
Filing Date:
09/22/2004
Assignee:
PRINCE DARRYL
PRINCE JOHN
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47D7/00; (IPC1-7): A47C27/00
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Primary Examiner:
SANTOS, ROBERT G
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Squire, Sanders & Dempsey L.L.P (Los Angeles, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A customized mattress, comprising: a mattress dimensioned to fit into a crib, the mattress having a generally rectangular top side and a bottom side; a customizable panel adapted to attach to the top side to form a sleeping surface area; and a personalized inscription affixed to at least the customizable panel of the mattress.

2. The mattress of claim 1, wherein the customizable panel has a design selected by the customer prior to the manufacture of the mattress.

3. The mattress of claim 2, wherein the personalized inscription is stitched onto the customizable panel.

4. The mattress of claim 2, wherein the personalized inscription is printed onto a label forming a personalized display label and affixed onto the customizable panel.

5. The mattress of claim 1, wherein the mattress is between 48 and 60 inches in length, between 24 and 36 inches in width and between 6 and 12 inches in thickness.

6. A customized mattress, comprising: a substantially constructed mattress including a coil panel, first and second filler panels positioned on opposite sides of said coil panel, said coil panel and first and second filler panels defining a first generally horizontal top sleeping area, a second generally horizontal bottom area and a border area; a first customizable panel adapted to be attached to the first horizontal top sleeping area to form a sleeping surface; a second panel adapted to be attached to the second horizontal bottom area; a customizable border area adapted to attach to the border area; a personalized display label with personalized indicia affixed to the first customizable panel.

7. The mattress of claim 6, wherein the first customizable panel and second panel have a design selected by a customer prior to manufacture of the mattress.

8. The mattress of claim 6, wherein the first customizable panel has a pattern formed by stitching, printing or thermal transfer process.

10. The mattress of claim 6, wherein the personalized display label is between 6 and 12 inches in length and between 4 and 8 inches in width.

11. The mattress of claim 10, wherein the personalized indicia includes at least one of a name, birthdate, or selected personal message of a user.

12. A method of affixing a personalized label to a customized mattress, the method comprising: receiving an order from a customer setting forth personalized indicia to be included on a label for a mattress; and forming a label and attaching the label including the personalized indicia onto a horizontal surface of a mattress.

13. The method of claim 12, wherein the personalized indicia is received over the Internet.

14. The method of claim 12, wherein the personalized indicia is received over the telephone.

15. The method of claim 12, wherein the personalized indicia is received by a computer in a manufacturer's retail facility.

16. The method of claim 12, wherein the label is formed on a laser printer.

17. The method of claim 16, wherein label is formed on a transfer with heat-resistant ink.

18. The method of claim 17, wherein the label is between 8 and 12 inches in length and 4 and 6 inches in width.

20. A method of manufacturing a mattress with a customizable panel and a personalized label, the method comprising: selecting a plurality of approximately rectangular panels, the rectangular panels comprising, a first filler panel, a coil panel and a second filler panel; assembling the plurality of approximately rectangular panels to form a mattress core, the first filler panel adjacent to the coil panel, and the coil panel adjacent to the second filler panel, wherein a surrounding border is formed by the assembly; cutting an approximately rectangular customizable top panel and bottom panel; fastening the customizable top panel to the plurality of panels to form a sleeping surface; fastening the bottom panel to the plurality of panels to form a bottom surface; adding a natural or synthetic material the border; forming a personalized label with personalized indicia therein; and fastening the personalized label to the top panel sleeping surface.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/708,507, filed on Mar. 9, 2004, which claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/454,673, filed Mar. 17, 2003.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Background

Modern day parenting of infants is heavily focused on both the comfort of the infant and the customized decorum of the infant's environment. The comfort of the infant is important because the infant years are vital in the infant's development as he or she progresses to childhood and eventually to adulthood. Modern day baby products reflect the importance of comfort level in baby products, as can be seen in, for example, high chairs with surrounding padding support, or baby strollers with shock absorbing wheels. An area of infant comfort which has received less attention is in the area of bedding, specifically, mattresses. Currently, many baby mattresses are made of construction and quality inferior to their adult mattress counterparts. For example, many baby mattresses are typically made as a “wet away” design with cheap material that does not lend itself to the infant's comfort. Because an infant's early months are critical times for body development, a need for a high quality sleeping platform is desirable.

Because the infant years of a child are fleeting, parents often tend to collect memorabilia relating to those infant years for nostalgic purposes. Such baby items as baby's first pillow, baby's first set of shoes, and a multitude of baby outfits, are, to name but a few, typical infant memorabilia saved by parents. Customized baby items are also very popular infant memorabilia. For example, a plaque customized with the baby's name and birthdate year may be a popular keepsake because it is unique and personal to the baby to whom the inscription refers. However, such a plaque does not have any utility and is useful only as a keepsake. Therefore, a customized baby item which may simultaneously have utility is desirable.

Mattress construction is well known in the art. For example, U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,643,879 (Visser et al.), 6,687,935 (Reeder et al.), 6,460,209 (Reeder et al.), and 5,815,865 (Washburn et al.), to name but a few, are directed to mattress construction. Many of these mattress constructions, however, are directed to comfort levels of the typical adult and not to infants. Additionally, such mattress constructions are devoid of customized features unique to the user. Thus, a customized mattress which is tailored to the comfort of an infant is desirable.

2. Summary of the Invention

The present invention is directed to a customized mattress constructed from a plurality of approximately rectangular panels layered adjacent to one another. For example, a bottom panel, a first filler panel, a coil panel, a second filler panel and a top panel, may be layered adjacent to one another, respectively, to form the principle construction of the mattress. For a baby or child's mattress, the panels may be between forty-eight and sixty inches in length and between twenty-four and thirty six inches in width. The top panel forms a sleeping surface and may be of a design, pattern or color selected by a customer to reflect the customer's taste and style. The bottom and top panels may be identical so that the mattress may be reversed. The panels are made from an appropriate natural cotton, cotton blend or synthetic material. Additionally, the present invention contemplates a personalized display label with personalized printed or stitched indicia attached to at least the top panel. The personalized display label may be approximately six to twelve inches in length and four to eight inches in width. The, material for the personalized display label may be selected from Tyvek, or another heat-resistant suitable material, or it may be stitching or a print applied to the top panel. The personalized printed indicia may include, for example, a name and birthdate or a personalized message.

The method of customizing the mattress may be achieved through a custom ordering process either in a retail store, by phone or via an Internet website. For example, the customer may be presented with the opportunity to order the customized mattress. The customer may be prompted to select a design, pattern or color from a pre-selected list to customize the top panel and borders of the mattress. The customer may also be prompted to create a personalized message to be used to create the personalized display label. The selection of at least these two parameters, together with customer billing and shipping information, is sufficient to create an order by which the manufacturer may manufacture the customized mattress including the customized panel and the personalized display label.

The method of manufacturing the customized mattress provides the assembly of a plurality of approximately rectangular panels to form the principle construction of the mattress. For example, a first filler panel, a coil panel, and a second filler panel may be layered adjacent to one another, respectively. A customized top panel (and bottom panel if so chosen), which is a design, pattern or color, selected by a customer, may then be cut and the personalized display label may then be applied directly onto the top panel by a stitching machine, thermal transfer or other printing technique. The customized top panel (and bottom panel) may then be fastened to the other panels preferably by a method known as the hog ring process or, alternatively, the border wire process. Both methods are known in the art. See, e.g., U.S. Pat. No. 5,586,377 (Katsuta, et al.). Border material matching the customized top panel is then added around the sides of the assembly, unsecured to the assembly. The panels are then secured together by a conventional mattress “closing” method known in the art. The personalized display label with personalized printed indicia can be pre-fabricated and attached to a substantially constructed mattress on the top panel by sewing, gluing, stapling or the like. Alternatively, the personalized display label may be applied directly to the top panel prior to or after fabrication of the mattress.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent to those persons having ordinary skill in the art to which the present invention pertains from the foregoing description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a customized mattress of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the customized mattress of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is an exemplary personalized display label with personalized printed indicia inscribed therein of the customized mattress of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a block diagram of the method of manufacturing the customized mattress of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the customized mattress 10 of the present invention. The mattress 10 may be assembled from a plurality of approximately rectangular panels comprising, for example, a bottom panel 22, a first filler panel 20, a coil panel 18, a second filler panel 16 and a customized top panel 12. (not shown separately in this figure). The dimensions of the mattress 10 may be dimensioned so as to fit into a standard baby crib. For example, the mattress 10 may be approximately between forty-eight to sixty inches in length, twenty-four to thirty-six inches in width and six to twelve inches in depth. The top panel 12 forms a sleeping surface and additionally may have a design, pattern or color custom selected by a customer. Furthermore, the top panel 12 may be of conventional mattress surface material, such as cotton, a cotton blend, polyester, or other like material. In addition, the border 24 of the mattress 10 may preferably be of the same design, pattern or color selected by the customer for the top panel 12, as may be the bottom panel 22. Finally, a personalized display label 14 with personalized printed indicia 34 may be affixed to the top panel 12 (discussed in more detail below in FIG. 3).

In FIG. 2, an exploded view of the customized mattress 10 is shown. In this figure, the relationship of the bottom panel 22, the first filler panel 20, the coil panel 18 and the second filler panel 16 are more clearly illustrated. As shown in this embodiment, the bottom panel 22 is adjacent to the first filler panel 20, the first filler panel 20 is adjacent to the coil panel 18, the coil panel 18 is adjacent to the second filler panel 16 and the second filler panel is adjacent to the top panel 12. The top panel has a first edge 26, a second edge 28, a third edge 30 and a fourth edge 32. The personalized display label 14 is affixed to the top panel 12, preferably offset near one of edges 26 or 32 of the top panel 12.

FIG. 3 illustrates an exemplary personalized display label 14 with personalized printed indicia 34. The label 14 may be made of Tyvek or another heat-resistant material suitable for a mattress label. The label 14 includes personalized printed indicia 34 which may be, for example, an infant or person's name and birthdate or a personalized message. To inscribe the personalized printed indicia 34 on the label 14, heat-resistant ink suitable for a mattress label may be used. The label 14 may be approximately six to twelve inches in length and four to eight inches in width. In an alternative embodiment, the printed indicia 34 may be affixed directly to the top panel 12 by stitching or machine printing, and the custom design may cover a substantial portion of the top panel 12.

The customized nature of the customized mattress 10 of the present invention may be created by a process allowing a customer to select personalized indicia 34 for the label 14 and chose a design, pattern or color for the top panel 12, bottom panel 22 and border 24. The customer may be prompted to select a design, pattern or color from a pre-selected list to customize the top panel 12, bottom panel 22 and border 24 for the mattress. The customer may also be prompted to create a personalized message, or personalized indicia 34, to be used to create the personalized display label 14. The selection of at least these two parameters, together with customer billing and shipping information, is sufficient to create an order by which the manufacturer may manufacture the customized mattress 10 including the personalized display label.

FIG. 4 represents an embodiment of the process of manufacturing the customized mattress 10. In this embodiment, the process is achieved via an Internet website provided by the manufacturer. The process may begin when a customer reaches the website of a manufacturer of the customized mattress 10. At the Internet site, a customer initiates a transaction by choosing to place an order for the customized mattress 10. Once the customer chooses to place an order the customer will be prompted to select a variety of customized features for the customized mattress 10. For example, the customer may be prompted to choose a design from a selection of designs, patterns and colors offered by the seller for the top panel sleeping surface 12, the bottom panel 22 and the borders 24 of the mattress. In addition, the customer may create a personalized message, such as the baby or person's name and birthdate, to be used to create the personalized label 14. In addition to the customization steps, the customer will also be prompted to enter standard customer information, such as billing and shipping information personal to the customer. Completion of these steps generates an order which may be processed by the manufacturer. The order is then used as a guide to construct the customized panels, including the top panel 12, the bottom panel 22 and the border 24 with the personalized display label 14 including personalized indicia 34 of the mattress 10. Once the manufacturer receives the order, the manufacturer may then process the order by manufacturing the mattress 10 with the custom features by the manufacturing process discussed more fully below. Alternatively, the process may be achieved by an on-site manufacturer system, such as a computer system located at the manufacturer's facility or at a retail outlet of the manufacturer. The process is similar to that described for FIG. 4.

In an alternative embodiment, a customer may initiate the process by telephone to the manufacturer's facility or to a retail outlet selling the manufacturer's product. For example, the customer may initiate the process by placing a telephone call to the manufacturer. The customer will be asked to provide his or her desired design, pattern or color for the top panel 12, bottom panel 22 and border 24 from a pre-selected list. The customer may also be asked to provide his or her desired personalized message 34 to be used to create the personalized display label 14. Again, the customer will be asked to provide standard billing and shipping information so that the customized mattress 10 may be sent to the customer once manufacture of the same is completed. After this information is given to the manufacturer, the mattress 10 may be constructed as discussed more fully below.

The method of manufacturing the customized mattress provides the assembly of a plurality of approximately rectangular panels to form the principle construction of the mattress 10. The rectangular panels may be provided by a third party manufacturer for assembly. For example, a first filler panel 20, a coil panel 18, and a second filler panel 16 (provided by a third party manufacturer) may be layered adjacent to one another, respectively. The customized top panel 12, the bottom panel 22 and the border 24 with the design, pattern or color selected by a customer may then be cut from suitable mattress material. The customized top panel 12 and the bottom panel 22 may then be fastened to the other panels preferably by a method known as the hog ring process or, alternatively, the border wire process. Both methods are known in the art. See, e.g., U.S. Pat. No. 5,586,377 (Katsuta, et al.). Border material 24 matching the customized top panel 10 is then added around the sides of the assembly, unsecured to the mattress 10. The panels are then secured together by a conventional mattress “closing” method known in the art.

The personalized display label 14 may be created by a variety of methods. For example, the label 14 may be manufactured as a separate part of the mattress 10 to be affixed thereto. When manufactured accordingly, the personalized display label 14 with personalized printed indicia 34 may then be attached to the customized top panel 10 by means such as sewing, gluing, stapling or the like, or, alternatively, by heat transfer affixation. Alternatively, the label 14 may be affixed directly onto, for example, the top panel 12 by stitching to form the same. Generally, the personalized label 14 may be affixed near edge 26 and centered between edges 28 and 32. However, it should be appreciated that the personalized display label 24 may be affixed to any surface of the customized mattress 10. Once the manufacturing process is complete, the customized mattress 10 is shipped to the customer by standard shipping methods.

As an addition, the process for taking an order and producing a customized label on the mattress may be extended to other bedding items, such as sheets, pillows, blankets, comforters and edge padding or bumpers for baby cribs. Thus, a customer can place an order for one item or a combination of items having the personalized label and the cloth products can be manufactured, cut, printed and sewn, for delivery to the customer.

From the foregoing detailed description, it will be evident that there are a number of changes, adaptations and modifications of the present invention which come within the province of those skilled in the art. The scope of the invention includes any combination of the elements from the different species or embodiments disclosed herein, as well as subassemblies, assemblies, and methods thereof. However, it is intended that all such variations not departing from the spirit of the invention be considered as within the scope thererof.